Wednesday, October 6, 2010


As they say in Hollywood, I am humbled.

No, what I mean is that I am honored and touched to be included in such fine company by Jude, whose blog I love reading -- I know I have a smile in store for me when I see that she has a new post up, whether it's a musing, a picture of Hawaii, or a recipe...

I am supposed to write about 10 things that I love. I'm not sure which way this list will go, but let's start and see:

Over the last few years I have developed a (small) obsession with (veggie) burgers. It might seem strange for a vegetarian to obsessed with burgers, but really I have my mother to credit or blame. She makes the tastiest veggie burgers: a potato, carrot, and pea patty filled with delicious Indian spices, and served on a bun with onion and green chutney. (A good reminder -- I've got to ask my mother for the recipe.) It's gotten to the point that I'll even eat the bland oat and who-knows-what veggie burgers you get in bars.

Over the last two months I have fallen for Toscanini's Ice Cream in Cambridge. Toscanini has been in Cambridge as long and longer than I've been here. But when I first moved here I was very much a gelato person. I still am. But recently I came to realize that American ice cream, if made by mad geniuses, can be a wonderful thing in its own distinct way. I don't go for the traditional flavors here, but their kulfi (which is Indian ice cream - somehow they transform it into ice cream exploding with cardamom flavor), green tea, black sesame, and salty caramel would probably make my top-10 list of best ice creams I've had.

Wine -- why deny it? -- is a happy part of my well-balanced diet. But let me narrow it down more. The love of the moment is German Riesling.  Somehow as one grows in sophistication as a wine drinker, one tends to gravitate toward drier wines, but I've been on the opposite swing recently , recognizing that some sweeter wines are exploding with flavor, subtlety, and joy. German Rieslings make almost everyone happy. Initially people ask themselves, should I confess to loving a wine that tastes (varyingly) sweet? The answer for me is yes.

In keeping with the food theme...

Well, the next confession is a big one. Mad Men. Yes, it's the first television show I've allowed myself to be pulled into in years. The characters, the story, the epoch, and the visual integrity -- it is difficult to resist the combination. And speaking of the visuals, each episode is like a game of hide and seek for people who love post-war design. There's always some contemporary piece of design hiding in the frame.
    This is quite a leap, or perhaps not, but opera is something I have loved since... well, shall I confess?... 1984. How do I remember the year? Because my brother and I became obsessed with the scene from Don Giovanni in Amadeus, which came out in the 1984 (apparently -- I would have guessed 1982...)

    Perhaps this then is exactly the right moment to confess that about 10 years after everyone else I've finally discovered Norman Quentin Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, or more precisely discovered that I already knew his music, which is the kind of thing that you would have had to live in a cave not to know to some degree. There's something bizarre and fun in being out of cycle with everyone else (at least sometimes).  (I wonder what my contemporary music adviser will make of this self-directed discovery? Mia, I hope I have not gone astray!)

    I love 3-legged chairs. I have two sets of them. One that looks like this:

    (indeed, this is my dining table in New York). And the other like this

    I have been told they are a little impractical, especially by guests who tip over while seated on them... But that's why I love them (the impracticality I mean, not specifically the tipping over part). They are outside nature and just from the human imagination.

    While I'm on the acquisitive wavelength, I recently acquired one of these:

    And it's instant love. I remember as a child my father would tell my brother and me stories in which the municipal water supply was suddenly transformed into coke, or milk, or juice. Well, this machine has the same element of magic to it. I've concluded that my one true addiction is bubbly water. And I've been carting those bottles home from the grocery for years now. Forget the environmental damage, it's my back (and hands) that I'm worried about... Now I filter and chill the water and have bubbly water on tap. Magic.

    Finally I love the Sunday New York Times. In New York, you actually get most of it on Saturday, but I am disciplined and don't read any of it until Sunday morning. My Sunday habits have changed over the years, but right now it's this. I get up, walk out in search of the weekend brekkie (usually a croissant, but having failed to find good ones recently I've switched to a brioche). Back home, I make cappuccino, climb back into bed, and the paper for a few hours.

    Now there are a few good thoughts to tide me over till the weekend!




    Jude said...

    Aw, what a fun and awesome list! Thanks so much for the shout-out :) Of course, I love any mention of food (that veggie burger sounds specially lethal-good), but the bubbly water totally got me - I must check this out b/c I'm always lugging way too much seltzer around! I love those chairs too (who cares about impracticality when it looks so good :)).

    Bombay Beauty said...

    Actually, London has one of my fave veggie burgers, the haloumi burger at (have forgotten the name - it's a burger local chain, one near Covent Garden and another near Goodge Street...)... xo bb

    Anonymous said...

    Fatboy Slim is not exactly the flavor of the day, but it is certainly approved.

    Bombay Beauty said...

    Mia - relieved! Now that it's 20th century music, we can think of it as retro?! xo bb

    Nicole said...

    Congrats, congrats, congrats! I loved reading through your ten things. About Toscanini's Ice Cream in Cambridge. I TOTALLY know what you're talking about. I run past it all the time and have always wanted to try it! Now, after your rave review, I have even more reason to go in!

    I've never seen three-legged chairs before, but they look so adorable and would make great conversation starters!

    Bombay Beauty said...

    Nicole - thanks - do give Toscanini's a try -- don't wait as many years as I did -- but remember try the exotic flavors - that's their true genius... xo bb

    Anonymous said...

    BB: not quite, but almost!
    By the way, I suppose you're familiar with this?

    If Jane said...

    oh so much to love on your list! ;))

    MarchMusings said...

    Awesome list - made for a good read. I laughed over the three legged chairs. Great design but perhaps not the best seat to be in!

    Bombay Beauty said...

    If Jane - glad you get the vibe!

    MM - thanks - indeed, sitting on a 3-legged chair requires some learning!



    Mary R said...

    Your list is awesome... we share some of the same loves- greek yogurt and opera and wine of course! Very fun post!

    Bombay Beauty said...

    Mary - many thanks! xo bb

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